‘Sexy’ women to blame for rape: female rights worker

Next step the burqa?

We’ve heard it before and been thoroughly sickened by its crass stupidity, the idea that women who wear “sexy” clothes are asking to be raped. You normally hear it from misogynists (usually men) in the bar or the church or the mosque.

In Indonesia this week it came out of the mouth of a woman. Not just any women either, but a human rights worker who claims to be empowering women and children. At least that’s what Dewi Fithria says she is doing as the 38-year-old executive director of Aceh Ranub, an NGO.

Fithria was quoted in The Jakarta Globe saying many cases of rape could be blamed on women who wear sexy outfits. Her definition of sexy, rape-causing outfits seems to include garments like jeans, because she supports Islamic by-laws outlawing “tight” trousers and other figure-hugging gear.

This is the sort of utter nonsense that normal women have to put up with in Aceh province. It’s not Somalia or Saudi Arabia or some Taliban-ruled valley in Afghanistan, it’s supposedly secular and moderate Indonesia. Of course, most Indonesian Muslims are appalled that Taliban-style vice-and-virtue police are on the loose in Aceh, but they can’t do anything about it.

Analysts say that the Islamic laws in Aceh (which see people publicly caned for adultery, gambling and drinking alcohol) are unconstitutional and represent a win for extremism in the power-struggle between Islamists and the vast majority of ordinary Indonesians.

(Photo courtesy of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)

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